Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Birds of Passage

I’m making a slight change to the line-up here. Two reasons: 1. It’s my blog and I can do what I want, and 2. After four days off I found myself unprepared to present a new form today. So, starting today, the first Wednesday of the month I will share a favorite poem written by someone else, and the last Wednesday of the month will be a new form.

That being said, I have to admit that this was not the poem I had planned on presenting today. There is a poem that was written about what it was like to be the child of a merman, but I could not for the life of me remember who wrote it. This is going to frustrate the heck out of me, and I swear I will find it someday, just not today.

Instead I will offer this one from one of my all-time favorite poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I love the lyrical quality of his poems and the way they flow. I even used a quote from one of his poems at the beginning of the first book I ever attempted to write. This is not that poem. ;-)

Birds of Passage

Black shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall
Against the southern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelm
The fields that round us lie.

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near;

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.

I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.

Oh, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words.

This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime.

From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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